How I spent my summer vacation

My three-year-old is a vicious, scheming, cheating monster – especially when he plays Monopoly or Blackjack.

This, at least, is what his six-year-old brother tells me.

You might be familiar with this type – a preschooler who speaks softly and haltingly about things that “kids and girls like,” who says animal names in an ostentatiously endearing fashion (e.g. “piggies” and “kitties” and “doggies”), and who gets old ladies to ooh and aah over him while his brother is trying to wrestle him out of his stroller. And, oh, yes, he’s also a nefarious underworld mastermind, stowing away piles of winnings to fling throughout the house at his first whim.

He’s dangerous, they say. And don’t tell me it’s because he doesn’t know the intricacies of the rules of casino cards or board games. Nah, he’s obviously on the take when he reaches that chubby little hand over to take his brother’s car game piece, or flips all the cards out of frustration.

He’s a cheater. Ruthless. And his brother? Obviously, The Elder, 6, is all about upholding the law, as he chants endlessly, “Cheater, cheater, cheater!”

He’s too slick to fall for that “Hey, buddy, I still wear a Pull-Up” line. He will fight off each and every transgression in the name of all that is good. As long as the perp is his brother, that is.—Jillian O’Connor

What are your kids fighting about these days?